Melbourne: thank u, next.



Image via @dombagnoche

“4 sleeps out, you must be getting excited?!”
“Are you nervous?”
– Everyone

This time next week i’ll be sitting at an airport gate headed to JFK.  I’ll be THAT girl sitting by herself, eyes welled up with tears but a heart so full.  I will have given my sisters the biggest and longest hugs in the universe, and I would have told Mum to stop crying for the 90th time.  My Dad will have told me that the world is mine to take, have and conquer.

But that’s future talk, and I get pretty overwhelmed even thinking about that exchange.  My god, someone give me a paper bag to cover my face so I don’t scare off any potential plane friends with my happy tears.

But for now, everything is an under and overstatement. Bizarrely, for probably for the first time like ever, I can’t describe how I feel.

Or maybe I can…

It’s like that split millisecond of breath you take at the top of a rollercoaster. You know the one.  The one that is full of anticipation, fear, thrill and bliss. You know you’re about to drop.  Like the beat you wait for on the dancefloor, what’s coming holds so much potential.

But for now, like right now.  There’s not a lot to say but – just you wait sweet darlin’.

Like it always does, the bass will kick in.  The carriage will reach that final clink on the rail that pushes you right over the edge – where you belong.

I want to chronicle this countdown to relocating to the Big Apple. It’s a beautiful thing meandering daily through the 8 piles of clothes on my bedroom floor and no full-length mirror in sight.  As you can imagine it’s such a heightened time for introspection. So i’ve been thinking all the things.

Things I won’t miss:

  • People assuming I like coffee, because it fits the profile – I’m from Melbourne / work close to Patricia’s.  Go figure.
  • Being too late for that prime 10 min window on the 58 tram before it’s reeling with pre-pubescant Grammar boys.
  • 10% surcharges on weekend brunch.

Things I will miss with my whole heart:

  • The option to have a bloody good coffee when I absolutely ‘need it’.
  • Avoiding the 58 tram altogether and cutting laps along the Yarra to work instead. Sunrise, rowers, skyline, the scent of lemon balm trees, cheap transport, interval cardio. What more could a gal actually want at 7am?
  • Weekend brunch in the city of gastronomy – deconstructed egg / chilli scram / bacon dust I’m looking at you.
  • Pretending to be a city gal 9-5 then running home to the farm and into a Mum hug at every opportunity.
  • Elwood sunsets with my favourite people, you know who you are.
  • Dreaming, laughing and being with my favourite people.
  • EVERYTHING with my favourite people.

Things I’m looking forward to:

  • Everything else.

But for now, you’ve not gotten rid of me just yet..

– S.

Taking a break from #goalz

Taking a break from #goals

Image via Duni Cheri

Easter, a holiday of dare I say equal righteousness and sacrilege.

In an effort to be at least 90% healthy at least 90% of the time, this is one (of the 5) holiday where not only is mum’s cooking in adequate supply (and portion control is non-existent), but deliciousness not excluding a Flinders sourdough loaf, Cadbury solid milk Easter eggs, a Pana Chocolate bar and Woolies’ finest Hot Cross Buns is all abound.  In short, it’s the perfect opportunity to turn on vacay mode in more ways than one.

Strangely I know, that time away from almost everything, is the perfect kick in the ass for a refined focus and greater determination come Monday (all good things start on Mondays, am I right?)

So yeah it could be a cheat weekend – but on theme with this Easter holiday, what if I called it a Sabbatical instead?

That’s a nicer word – sounds intellectual too, huh? …… ¡Double bueno!

And maybe there’s something in that, that holy, holy word. That taking a break, a well-deserved load-off is the perfect elixir for a kick start, double strength.

I’m thinking about how absolutely necessary the weekend is, in providing the energy and mind power to approach the daily grind of a new 5-day work week, or how a mid-sem break affords the clarity and partying abilities to triumph the remainder of semester.  How vital a rest day is for optimal performance, and more importantly, how a block of chocolate and 8 x hot cross buns with butter will lead me back on the track to that broccoli and sweet potato lyf when it comes time to head back to reality.

On a serious note, I think there’s something in this idea of a ‘break’.  To refresh, realign and refocus on the how, what, why, when…you get the drill.  A “brb” to goals has got to have a place in this world.

“Know the rules so you can break them effectively”

– Dalai Lama XIV

That phrase is my new spirit animal, please have a safe and Happy Easter pals! 

– S.



What if your back was always ‘got’?


Image via Shop Style

I’ve recently encountered what seems to be a relentless string of unfortunate events – which, to a host of mere miracle working – have become some of my best stories to date.

Think missed alarm to my first interstate client presentation, leaving my luxury wallet on the roof of my car in a questionable neighborhood, spilling coffee all over a merino poncho at the start of a working day.  The list could go on, with most of the episodes downright stupid, and causing into question my validity as a law-abiding, resourceful or capable citizen.

Apparently, just when I think I’ve gotten my act together and on due course to #adulting properly, something hilarious happens.  Something, which causes me to stop, have a laff, and share my momentary misfortune with someone who definitely laughs at (not with) me.

After no joke, about a week of non-stop daily encounters of the worst kind, I stopped to seriously consider what was seriously wrong with me.

Why was karma simultaneously teasing and rewarding me so regularly.  And more scarily, when would the good resolutions end.  Was my limit almost up?

Speaking out loud, I realized there was such a basic, elementary undertone.  Don’t shoot me…Gratitude.

Thinking about it, I thanked the lawd for:

  • Free-flowing traffic allowing me to reach the VA333 en route to Sydney that frightful morning
  • The kind couple and accompanying Bull Mastiff for walking past my car before the sun had set, making my Prada life-blood visible
  • My unwavering tendency to leave a spare blazer on my desk chair when I ruined my previous outfit.

 Thank ya, thank ya, and thank ya again.

It got me thinking like, what if there was always something / someone who had your back, and everything was a simple exercise in remembering to not take things too seriously?

I get it, there are a world of worse things to happen to someone compared to my simple existential errors e.g. coffee spills.  But I’m hoping this ability to be light-hearted in the face of mistakes can signal a trend towards ease when things do get really tough. 

I hope in the clamour of small wrongdoings we can appreciate that often it’s a masked suitor who is staging  a hugely necessary wake-up call to look retrospectively, on everything there IS to be grateful for.

Like all the times alarms rang, when cars turned on without the need for RACV assistance, when parents/friends/partners were supportive, personal trainers were gentle, or you could leave work on time to enjoy the sunset.

Step back babies, and look around, promise it ain’t ALL bad.

– S.

In real-time

The frustration of not understanding the Spanish subjunctive, the crispiness of Maltese pastizzi, the divinity of pizza with a good red and a Sorrento sunset, the thrill of seeing doppelgangers or almost missing an international train. The electric feel of … Continue reading

Before the end.


Image by Antosk via We Heart It.

Let’s talk about Home Runs.

Now I’m no baseball player, in fact, I’m not really even much of a team sports kinda gal, but I think I just might be in a current state of resonance, with the Home Run concept.

I’m thinking in terms of finish line, go time, game day, final series.. ya feel?

Why? Because I’ve come to the bittersweet realization that I’m 5/7ths into my greatest adventure yet. And it’s terrifying.

And I wonder if this insatiable thirst for both the now and future is the same feeling a batter gets when he reaches second base, right before home run.

Like, wouldn’t you just want to sit on second base, just for a little while.

And pause.

Press that precious – two vertically lined – button and stop time, if only for a millisecond. To look around, smell the flowers, feel the sun on your face and drown in the anticipation of almost-completion.

I’m talking 360°, Go Pro, water-resistant, HD, retina display, Facebook Live action, but on hold.

Inherently, you know home base is only a short sprint away, but second base, for a moment, second base is just perfect and exactly where you should be. 

This is where I’m at, like right now. And without any previous expertise in batting fields, pitchers, or the difference between a Yankee and Chicago Bull, I feel like Babe Ruth is my spirit animal.

Because at this close to the finish line, the only thing more terrifying than time moving faster, is time stopping.

I’m equally terrified and excited for the final episode of this incredible season. Fantasizing about the adventures I’ll unwrap for Christmas, drowning in the hugs and kisses that wait for me in Australian Eastern Standard time, yet sick in my stomach with the early on-set nostalgia that soon, very soon, everything that exists right now will be a distant memory.

But maybe that’s the beauty of everything, transience.

Maybe, it’s the hard-faced reality of knowing that everything is temporary, which draws us to create a space for it to be devoured in the exact way it’s meant to be: slowly and with the appreciation that nothing will ever taste the same.

So this time, take your time with the cake, you deserve it.



Bansky-inspired Siesta Time.

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Image via Mikutas.

Hi stranger, it’s been a while.

Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. It’s been a long while. Arguably too long since I put pen to paper, thought to word and word to world.

But the good man Banksy consumed, captivated and inspired me once again with a little quote. It was likely directed at someone brilliant, some time ago, somewhere cool, and in it, he said:

‘When you get tired learn to rest, not to quit’.

And god, have I been resting.

I haven’t stopped thinking, or pondering or lamenting on life for one second, I’ve just been too busy looking outside bus windows in admiration of majestic landscapes, and introducing myself with the same “it’s Fiona with an S-H’, in between mouthfuls of Europe’s delicacies, in the best cities of the world. The summer has been an adventure, but it hasn’t given me a chance to drown in a pool of contemplation and come out the other side with a written lil-somethin’ to share.

Sadly, writing hasn’t been a priority, until last night, it was. And the idea came to me from the most unlikely, yet oh-so Spanish source…

La siesta.

I can’t confirm whether it’s me spiraling back into the #studentlyf where nanna naps are a daily necessity, or if I’m truly turning japanese spanish as my intention for exchange would have it – but siestas are becoming a regular thing for me.

Broken down: roughly around the same time everyday, I take myself to my room, close the door, put on a slow playlist and close my eyes – but not to sleep.

In these moments I’m not particularly thinking of anything, but everything all at once.

I’m imagining scenarios, watching plots of reality unfold, rewriting scenes then jumping to another, to meet and play with something else. I’m thinking about goals and aspirations and fears and uncertainties. I wonder why I didn’t buy more goats cheese on my way home and how much water I keep forgetting to drink. I reminisce about the people I met 8 countries ago, and keep getting stuck on that ‘Closer’ song I cant get out of my head (baby pull me closer, blah blah blah something Rover). I also think of what to eat next, what to do tomorrow, tonight and how cold it really gets in Pamplona. Did Hemingway mention it at all?….

A million and five things race through my head, most often to the sound of an acoustic cover, and before I know it, I’m pretty convinced I’ve solved most of the world’s problems.

I may even drift off for a miniscule nap somewhere amongst the madness.

 But what happens, after a week (okay three weeks) of this indulgent behavior, I’ve become dependent on my daily siesta. I’m hungry for silence, thirsty for a clear my mind, excited to think, deeply.

Like untangling a heap of necklaces, finally cleaning the water bottles out of your car, or managing to correctly cook rice on a stove without ruining the pot –  a mental de-clutter is almost euphoric, and probably a pretty vital skill.

 Like the good spring clean mum insists on doing every (damn) time a visitor comes, I’m convinced our minds need the same TLC.

So stop, seriously even if it’s just for 5 minutes* and let your mind run it’s course, empty itself.

My gal Sylvia Plath coined herself a ‘victim of introspection’, but contemplation doesn’t need to be that dark. Think deep, solve the world and your own mysteries. I don’t believe time is wasted by ruminating about something or nothing at all.



*Of course 10 minutes of down time is better than 5, and 15 minutes even more so, then you can look into mediation and wow, that’s a whole other ball-park. The Headspace App is a good place to start.

Vanilla feelings.


Image via Alkila Love

What does it feel like to:

a) Move to New York?

b) Graduate?

c) Wake up in the morning of your flight to a trip of a lifetime?

d) Be your birthday, Christmas or even a Friday?

It could feel a million things, and i’d love to make a list. But from those experiencing a) through d), at the moment, I’m noticing a super prevalent notion that: ‘it’ doesn’t feel like ‘it’.

Whatever ‘it’ is – it always seems to feel not like it should.

But I wonder why we’re thinking so critically – I mean, no one  has ever been here before.

In every moment, isn’t it cool to think that the experience is unwritten? You literally, have never been there before, at that age, with that mindset, in this place, with that plan, beside (or without) some person?

While everybody is busy chasing their dreams by living in New York, Graduating double-degrees, trekking trough Norway, landing boss jobs, and kicking absolute goals on (and off) field – there’s a strange commonality, a kind-of brotherhood semblance between us all:

Nothing feels like ‘it’.

Even up until boarding my flight, I didn’t feel like I was going away to travel the latest beaut locations on my bucket list and live in one of my favourite spots on earth.  Even my friends, who are living in NYC still can’t believe they’ve moved a million miles away.

But I wonder about how we have this delirious craving for trying to make sense of everything, reaching to feel something familiar when the very essence of it all, is the total opposite – unfamiliar?

The fact is, everything is shiny brand new, and there’s no way in hell to know what it feels like.

Every encroaching minute is new territory, uncharted waters, and I for one, definitely don’t have a map (or data on my international sim card in fact, to download one).

Bottom line: this is a rookie life.

So get lost. No, better than that, stay lost and stop trying to know or feel like you should about ‘it’. The feeling doesn’t exist yet, it’s vanilla, but it’s waiting for you to make, break, look it square in the eye, grab it with both hands and top it with strawberries, oreos, chia seeds, donuts, cronuts, something matcha flavoured and gummy bears.

Remember: Vanilla is always just the beginning.


In the name of Time.

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Image by VSCO via Pinterest.

Do you believe in coincidences?

I totally do. The five year old Disney-addict in me calls it ‘stars aligning’. Even perfect timing, or ‘meant to be’ style stuff.

I think for majority of us, the whole concept of ‘timing’ is only realized when things don’t happen the way we want them to.

You fail that test, miss out on GA floor tickets to a gig, miss a train, order after there’s no more avo left to adorn your sourdough multi-grain with poached egg and feta… the list goes on.

‘Timing’ is so prevalent here and sometimes it hurts a lot, to not get the things you want, in the dreamy way you want them, and with the immediacy in which you deserve.

There’s an inverse to this though, and on the most recent Saturday night it hit me pretty hard – in the best way. A truly unique, unlikely turn of events led to a beautiful ‘right time, right place’ kinda experience. And I realized that every mini decision I’d made in the lead up to it, had magically resulted in such a delicious outcome.

Fundamentally, it was all in the name of ridiculously, perfect timing.

Getting caught up in our daily grind, it’s so easy to forget the little things that make other moments perfect. From getting on the right carriage on the train to score a seat and read your book, to walking a different street and finding the best new coffee spot, to meeting someone new in the most unlikely of places, to bumping into a friend half way across the world.

The list is eternal, and appreciating those small moments can make even the rainiest day, absolute bliss.

Digging deeper though, it’s clear most things are resultant of an earlier decision.

Good or bad, there’s inevitably a consequence for everything. How bizarre to think and know, that any decision or action you make will have an effect on the future. The butterfly effect. (Side note: great movie if you haven’t seen it yet!)

I’m fascinated by consequences. Yet when I consider that the whole timing thing is actually a thing, the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ is a pretty wicked mindset to adopt. How good!?

So for once, let’s let go of being such control freaks and let timing do her thang.

How comforting to recognize when the stars align, see when they don’t and know that a clearer night is just a road trip away.

(That was a metaphor – wew!)

*On that note, my friends and I are currently on a road trip binge. Any and all ideas on good spots for ridiculous sunsets and waterfalls would be greatly appreciated. I trust timing of me posting this and you reading it, will provide me with the wicked adventures I need.

After all, it’s about the timing yeah?






A Fearless Devotion.

A Fearless Devotion.

Image via Pinterest

Dreams, we all got ‘em. Some call them #goals, some regard them as Disney-esque reveries for the future, and your teacher probably coined them ambitions in an effort to extend your vocab back in Grade 6.

But whatever you want to call those #bigthings that drive, thrive and hunger you, there’s some background we need to bring to life if those have any chance of coming into fruition.

And to me, this qualification is kind of, almost, incredibly terrifying:

It’s a commitment to fearlessness.

Because in the big wide world, ‘making it’ – whatever it is – requires continual, incessant, fearless movements of ‘trying’, taking a bullet, shooting to score etc, etc. You know the drill.

So yeah, tell me how ambitious you are, and talk freely about the dreams you want to pursue and the plans you’re adamant to stick to.

Believe me, I’ll listen and love every minute as I watch you pour out your oath to doing what you want to do.

But tell me, are you committed, fearlessly to keeping all those dreams alive?

Like REALLY willing to say no to things you desperately want, to working your ass off, to feeling overwhelmed and whelmed and underwhelmed all at once, to missing out on Taco Tuesdays, to risking something great for what (hopefully) is better?

Are your shoulders ready for that weight, and are you even willing to work those muscles in preparation for the oncoming 1 rep max?

Because, baby, game day will inevitably come and you better be ready.

You’ve gotta be ready to move with conviction and surety when you need to do something outrageous, to putting on your conservative adult hat when you just want to YOLO, and man-ning up when all you want to do is sulk and have mum pat your head until you fall asleep.

You need to be sure you can maintain that tropical vision even when the hurricane threatens your favourite sunset, and confident you’ll remember how you first fell in love with the sparkle of your goal.

Without this commitment, this absolute, hand over heart, all-american soldier like infallibility to completion, your goals are just pipedreams. And they deserve more than that. So do you.

Mission accepted?

What’s that saying again… oh yeah.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I’m saying it’ll be worth it.”





Spontaneity is ew.


Image via ELLEMER Swimwear

I don’t know about you, but I’m adamant spontaneous is a dirty word.

It’s hella reckless, misdirected and absolutely flippant. It’s young and wild and free. Nonchalant, blasé of consequences, even ignorant of them and probably inconsiderate.

Herein lies my qualm. Is doing something others think ‘crazy’ quickly, spontaneous? Or is it simply the ability to make courageous decisions, fast?

Because isn’t it admirable when someone is able to make choices quickly?

I know I’m an absolute fangirl for someone able to make a menu decision in less than 10 minutes. I mean, how have you analyzed and compared the pros and cons of every breakfast opportunity in that time. More so, be SURE you’ve made the right selection and spoken those bacon-laden words to the waiter.

Such conviction is heroic in my eyes.

Especially when it comes to big-ticket items. You know the ones:

  • Do I move to New York or not?
  • Do I travel to south-east turkey and become a camel farmer?
  • Do I end this relationship?
  • Do I road trip with out a map?
  • Do I move houses?
  • Do I go sober in October?

Honestly, I think it’s time to shed the skin of spontaneity, and instead, define the ability to make bold decisions fast, with a much more credible title.

Something more powerful which speaks to an appreciation of wicked opportunities and pouncing on them. The ability to know purely, what feels right and wrong, and to thrive on the good and just go with it. It’s a passion for knowing personal limits and pushing them. It’s unrivalled self-confidence.

It’s acknowledging that fortune favors the bold and living accordingly.

You see, spontaneity just fails to capture all that juicy goodness.

I’ve searched long and hard for an accurate word in English, and yet again our vocabulary lets me down. Greek on the other hand, has pulled through with the goods this time. Get a load of this gem:


So now, I think I’ll learn Greek. It’s not spontaneous, it feels right.

So does a Souvlaki right now..